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< Garen

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia

Skill usage

  • GarenSquare.png Garen's strength as a bruiser comes from his passive, Perseverance.png Perseverance and Courage.png Courage to keep himself healthy along with his decent early damage and utility from Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike and Judgment.png Judgment, with Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice providing a reliable and powerful execute.
  • GarenSquare.png Garen's health regeneration is greatly increased due to his passive, Perseverance.png Perseverance. This only activates if he can avoid receiving champion or monster damage for 9 seconds, granting him exceptional sustainability in lane as minions do not stop this effect.
  • GarenSquare.png Garen's Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike makes him a powerful chaser, easily closing the gap and silencing enemies before they can cast a slow or any debuff. It can also be used to make a swift escape since it removes slows.
    • This makes GarenSquare.png Garen very strong against most caster-type champions due to its silence; disrupting combos can save teammates by preventing casters (both AP and AD) from comfortably using all their skills before they endanger themselves, especially since Garen himself is naturally tanky enough to rush in with little casualties, be it 1 v 1 or in a large teamfight.
  • Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike can be used effectively to push lanes, as this ability also affects structures (turrets and inhibitors).
  • Using Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike to catch up with, silence, and deal damage to a fleeing champion is the perfect precursor to a killing blow with Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice.
  • Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike can be used to return to/move between lanes quickly, as it has no mana costs and a fairly low cooldown, especially at higher ranks.
  • Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike resets GarenSquare.png Garen's auto-attack timer, effectively allowing him to deal good damage in a short period of time. However, GarenSquare.png Garen will have to come to melee range without a speed boost if he uses the skill to double-attack.
  • As Judgment.png Judgment slows GarenSquare.png Garen by 20% when he travels through minions it's best to use it after GarenSquare.png Garen has activated Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike for its 35% speed increase, this will counter the slow from Judgment.png Judgment and allows Garen to quickly move through a minion wave so he can land the Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike.
  • GarenSquare.png Garen can be lethal in early game fights, especially after getting his ultimate. Judgment.png Judgment deals good continuous damage to enemies and Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike's speed boost is good for chasing enemies. Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice also does extra damage based on how much health the enemy has missing.
  • GarenSquare.png Garen's best starting skill is Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike, as it can be used to last-hit, silence, speed himself up, remove slows, reset autoattacks and has very high burst damage at early levels.
  • Courage.png Courage and Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike mix well for a powerful chasing and escape combo. The speed boost from Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike allows you to get in or out of range, while the damage reduction of Courage.png Courage allows you to mitigate any retaliation from enemies.
  • Because of his strong early game damage from Judgment.png Judgment, GarenSquare.png Garen lanes well with a partner with an early game stun such as TaricSquare.png Taric's Dazzle.png Dazzle, though he is most often played as a solo top laner.
  • Unlike other abilities, Judgment.png Judgment remains active when GarenSquare.png Garen is stunned because it is not a channeled spell.
  • With some points into Judgment.png Judgment, GarenSquare.png Garen can easily farm and push minions with it.
  • Judgment.png Judgment is GarenSquare.png Garen's main source of damage, but has a significant cooldown and long duration to maximize its damage. Make sure you activate Judgment.png Judgment properly or you will be left being fairly ineffectual in combat while it is on cooldown.
  • Beware that Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice can be blocked by Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png Banshee's Veil and its damage depends on the enemy champion's magic resistance and missing health.
  • Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice can be activated during Judgment.png Judgment on an enemy at low health. This will cause GarenSquare.png Garen to immediately end his spin and cast if the target is in range.
  • While any champion benefits from brush control, GarenSquare.png Garen excels at this due to the threat of his gap closing and damage capabilities; use this to your advantage, especially against ranged opponents.

Build usage

GarenSquare.png Garen is a melee champion, who excels in quickly killing priority targets and being able to soak up tons of damage.

  • Phage item.png Phage is a good early item for him and can later be built into The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver, which is very effective on GarenSquare.png Garen as Judgment.png Judgment can quickly apply stacks on multiple enemies.
    • Another option would be Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade; it gives similar AD and Armor penetration, but it also gives critical chance and a short boost to movement and attack speed. This makes it a great late game item when critical chance outscales raw AD and GarenSquare.png Garen can use the extra attack speed to help destroy turrets.
    • They can also be built together for an easy source of 20% CDR to combine with Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage. This also increases wave minion clear due to minions having low armor values.
  • Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper is a good counter to teams stacking mass amounts of armor but gives no defensive stats, which are important if you are to survive the enemy's damage long enough to deal yours.
  • As both Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike and Judgment.png Judgment benefit from critical strike, items such as Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge increases the ability's damage output as well as his basic attacks.
  • Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius is a good anti-mage item. An early Hexdrinker item.png Hexdrinker can help GarenSquare.png Garen against high burst magic damage.
  • While the AoE on-hit passive component of Tiamat item.png Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra is somewhat redundant on Garen thanks to how easily he can farm with Judgment.png Judgment, the active ability is extreme powerful on him as it can be activated while Judgement is in effect without disrupting it, considerably increasing his DPS.
  • Courage.png Courage scales with GarenSquare.png Garen's armor and magic resistance; therefore, purchasing items with said stats makes the ability more effective.
  • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage synergizes well with Perseverance.png Perseverance, easily allowing him to regenerate 0.48 / 0.96 / 2.40% of his maximum health each second.
  • Warmog&#039;s Armor item.png Warmog's Armor can be a good choice as well; the item's passive along with Perseverance.png Perseverance allows him to regenerate 0.6 / 1.0 / 2.2% of his maximum health per second, allowing him to recover health quickly after teamfights without going back to base. The extra health along with Courage.png Courage makes him very hard to kill in a teamfight.
  • Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet is an excellent health item for GarenSquare.png Garen, as it provides some attack damage and a powerful slow to help GarenSquare.png Garen stick to his target.
  • In combination with Judgment.png Judgment, an early Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape helps with GarenSquare.png Garen's wave clearing capabilities, as well as providing mixed damage and constant threat.
  • Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen can help greatly against being kited and reduces the enemy ranged carry's DPS. An early Warden&#039;s Mail item.png Warden's Mail is good against auto-attack reliant champions such as KayleSquare.png Kayle, XinZhaoSquare.png Xin Zhao, FioraSquare.png Fiora, etc.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran&#039;s Shield item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Essential Boots of Swiftness item The Black Cleaver item Sunfire Cape item
Offensive Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item Last Whisper item
Defensive Warmog&#039;s Armor item Spirit Visage item Randuin&#039;s Omen item
Consumables Health Potion item Sight Ward item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item
The Howling Abyss
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran&#039;s Shield item Doran&#039;s Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Boots of Swiftness item Aegis of the Legion item The Black Cleaver item
Offensive Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item Infinity Edge item
Defensive Sunfire Cape item Spirit Visage item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Prospector&#039;s Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Boots of Swiftness item The Black Cleaver item Spirit Visage item
Offensive Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item Lord Van Damm&#039;s Pillager item Entropy item
Defensive Guardian Angel item Sunfire Cape item Aegis of the Legion item
Consumables Health Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran&#039;s Shield item Boots of Speed item
Essential Aegis of the Legion item The Black Cleaver item Boots of Swiftness item
Offensive Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item Lord Van Damm&#039;s Pillager item
Defensive Sunfire Cape item Overlord&#039;s Bloodmail item
Consumables Health Potion item


  • GarenSquare.png Garen's damage output is very high early game; avoid early confrontations and play passively if needed.
  • Harass GarenSquare.png Garen in lane every few seconds, if possible, to minimize the effect of Perseverance.png Perseverance.
    • Ranged champions can easily stop Perseverance.png Perseverance with an auto-attack (unless GarenSquare.png Garen goes farther back, which forces him to miss last-hits) and farm in lane at a safe distance from him - they generally also have abilities to keep their distance. Ranged carries will scale stronger than him in this situation.
  • Avoid going into a brush that does not have a ward in it if GarenSquare.png Garen's current whereabouts are unknown. GarenSquare.png Garen players have a tendency to hide in bushes, due to the synergy between his silence from Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike and damage from Judgment.png Judgment.
  • GarenSquare.png Garen is a cooldown based champion. However, all of his ability cooldowns are high. Try to attack him when they are on cooldown.
  • Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike is very good at stopping combos due to its silence; if you happen to be playing a caster champion who relies a lot on their abilities to deal most of their damage, be wary of this ability as GarenSquare.png Garen can save a teammate or even himself from your burst, as well as leaving you without the use of your defensive abilities or summoners such as Flash.png Flash.
  • Be very cautious when low on health and you know GarenSquare.png Garen's Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice is off cooldown.
  • It is often worth the investment to purchase armor to counter GarenSquare.png Garen's high physical damage.
  • Think carefully before using your Crowd Control abilities on GarenSquare.png Garen. His Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike will remove Slows and Courage.png Courage will reduce the duration of such abilities by 30% while active. Additionally, hard CC will not stop Judgment.png Judgment, only his movement. Keep some distance from him, especially if playing squishier champions as it deals very high damage over a short duration. 
  • Like most melee champions, GarenSquare.png Garen is quite vulnerable to ranged harassment.
    • However, because of his high damage and better durability, he can force ranged champions away or even kill them if he gets all of his damage off.
  • Buying a Hexdrinker item.png Hexdrinker may help as it can block a fair amount of damage from GarenSquare.png Garen's Demacian Justice.png Demacian Justice early on. Do not forget that his main form of damage is still physical, however.
  • Because GarenSquare.png Garen usually builds a lot of health, getting champions or items that deal % health damage can cause him to melt quickly, such as Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King's active and passive, AmumuSquare.png Amumu's Despair.png Despair, KogMawSquare.png Kog'Maw's Bio-Arcane Barrage.png Bio-Arcane Barrage, VayneSquare.png Vayne's Silver Bolts.png Silver Bolts and ZedSquare.png Zed's Contempt for the Weak.png Contempt for the Weak. Being able to outsustain his damage will also help.
  • TeemoSquare.png Teemo is considered to be one of the best known counters to GarenSquare.png Garen. He can effectively poke and escape from him, if played correctly. TeemoSquare.png Teemo's Blinding Dart.png Blinding Dart can be used to both deal damage and prevent him from dealing damage with Decisive Strike.png Decisive Strike (the silence will still affect you). Toxic Shot.png Toxic Shot allows you to harass and prevent his Perseverance.png Perseverance from activating, and Noxious Trap.png Noxious Trap allows you to slow and zone him. Use it while you are escaping from him, then retaliate when he attempts to escape. Keep in mind, however, that his combo is strong enough to kill you at early levels and he can utilize the brush to prevent you from harassing him.

Champion Spotlight

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Garen Champion Spotlight

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